Q: We are hoping to hold a prayer service to remember St. Oscar Romero on the anniversary of his death. Our pastor has a relic. We were planning to create a table at the end of the center isle to display the relic and an image of him. One of us will also be providing a talk/reflection on the life of Bishop Oscar Romero.
My question: Is there any guidance we should take into consideration about the prayer service and what it should entail? Particularly with the displaying of a relic? Thanks for your time!
A: Your plan sounds beautiful. What a great way to commemorate St. Oscar.
There’s nothing you must do for such a prayer service, but I usually advise two options that the liturgy provides. One is a liturgy of the word, featuring some scripture passages that seem appropriate. You could look in volume IV of the lectionary for the Common of Martyrs, and you’ll find a wide selection of passages. You could build a prayer service imitating the first part of Mass.
Or, you could do a version of evening prayer for martyrs from the Liturgy of the Hours.
Either of those would give Catholics a service with a recognizable format, making it a little easier for them to pray.
Display the relic reverently, but not on top of the altar.
Check out the Vatican’s directory on popular piety, especially the last part of #237. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20020513_vers-direttorio_en.html